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CAA registration consulation

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BackinBlack27/04/2019 12:26:13
136 forum posts
2 photos

David and Percy, I agree with what you say, but it does not change the inept way in which Regulation has come about.

I shall, like many others here I suspect, when the time comes register and pay my dues. I would like to think that we shall see more prosecutions for the unregistered or illegal use of drones as a consequence. I have my doubts though.

Peter Christy27/04/2019 12:51:03
1872 forum posts

I have filled in the consultation, and also written to my MP as follows:

Dear XXX,

The CAA have just published a consultation (CAP1775) on their proposed charges for the registration of all operators of unmanned aircraft. While clearly intended to reduce the number of incidents attributed to rogue "drone" operators, it is going to severely impact on the activities of the law-abiding model aircraft community.

The CAA acknowledge that the model aircraft community is not the problem, yet it is highly likely that the *only* people to be affected by this proposal will be the very people whose behaviour is not at issue! Furthermore, the registration process is a clear duplication of effort, as the vast majority of model flyers are already registered with the British Model Flying Association, or one of the smaller sister organisations (Large Model Association and Scottish Aeromodellers Association).

The CAA is proposing to charge £16.50 for this registration process. This appears to be based on the assumption that 170,000 registrations will be made. This is a flawed argument on two accounts.

Firstly, while it is accepted that the EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) regulations do mandate the registration of all operators of unmanned aircraft (including model flyers) in their country of residence, they also state that, in terms of model flying , ‘Associations may register their members into the registration system on their behalf’. The CAA have completely disregarded this option in their consultation document. The consultation document also fails to mention that the charge proposed by the CAA is substantially higher than in other comparable European countries - indeed, in France it is completely free to register!

Secondly, as many "drone" purchases appear to be made via the internet, it is highly unlikely that any purchasers of "drones" will be even aware of the requirement to register. The BMFA has a membership of around 30,000 and the other associations somewhat less. The total for all three is probably less than 70,000. It is therefore difficult to see from where the CAA has plucked this magical figure of 170,000, or how they intend to notify purchasers of this requirement.

The most likely scenario is that the only people likely to register are the existing BMFA / LMA / SAA members, who will then face even steeper charges to make up for the shortfall in income to the CAA. Once again, this government seems to wish to punish the innocent for the crimes of the guilty.

Obviously, this all stems from the incident at Gatwick over the Christmas period. However, the perpetrators of that incident - if indeed the drone ever existed at all - were already in breach of existing, unenforceable regulations. It is difficult to see how this knee-jerk reaction will improve matters.

Indeed, it is widely acknowledged that most of the chaos at Gatwick was actually caused by a Sussex Police drone sent up to try and catch the original drone - and there is no evidence that that original drone even existed!

This is a complete and utter shambles. Unfortunately it seems that the Department for Transport and its minister are only able to lurch from one crisis to another, leaving the long-suffering members of the public paying for their total ineptitude.

I hope you can bring these matters to the attention of someone who can get a grip of the situation, but I suspect that this is a forlorn hope.

Yours Sincerely,

I doubt it will do any good, but perhaps if enough of us write in similarly, it might concentrate a few minds - especially in marginal seats, with the possibility of an election looming!



Tim Hooper27/04/2019 13:08:01
2911 forum posts
2412 photos

I've responded to the consultation document as I feel appropriate.

We should all do the same.


Steve J27/04/2019 13:08:05
2056 forum posts
60 photos
Posted by BackinBlack on 27/04/2019 11:59:33:

I still find a degree of confusion in the terminology used in the Consultation document and response form.

The DfT, CAA and other government agencies are not consistent in their use of the word 'drone'. Generally they use it as a synonym for unmanned aircraft. Sometimes they use it to mean multirotor. Sometimes they use it both ways in the same document. At the end of the day it doesn't really matter as the ANO uses the term 'small unmanned aircraft' (SUA).

I actually went as far as emailing the Airprox board regarding their use of the term and they said that they used 'drone' because 'unmanned air system' sounded too technical for the press/general public.


Steve J27/04/2019 13:11:26
2056 forum posts
60 photos
Posted by Peter Christy on 27/04/2019 12:51:03:

Obviously, this all stems from the incident at Gatwick over the Christmas period. However, the perpetrators of that incident - if indeed the drone ever existed at all - were already in breach of existing, unenforceable regulations.

That would be why they decided to have a registration system years ago and changed the ANO last summer.


Cliff Bastow27/04/2019 13:24:30
916 forum posts
464 photos

Responded to the document for all the good it will do! I suspect we are stuck with this and the price will go up year on year. I cannot for the life of me see how it helps but that is the way with much of the regulations these days.

It is a knee jerk reaction as so often now instead of enforcing the rules that already exist.

I think it is more about the government wanting to be able to licence the airspace under 400 feet for commercial use in the future than to do with safety.

As always the law abiding have to suffer because of a few idiots!

Adrian Smith 127/04/2019 13:26:19
2477 forum posts
1273 photos

Peter, I have written to my local Suffolk MP, Dr Dan Poulter along the lines you have suggested. I don't expect a reply, but it has made me feel better.


Former Member27/04/2019 13:31:39

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Cliff Bastow27/04/2019 13:32:41
916 forum posts
464 photos

I have also written to my local MP Steve Barkley along much the same lines. As Adrian says it wont do much good but makes me feel better!

Former Member27/04/2019 13:35:56

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Former Member27/04/2019 13:40:04
1322 forum posts

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Former Member27/04/2019 13:44:58

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Former Member27/04/2019 14:05:46
1322 forum posts

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Former Member27/04/2019 14:13:28

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kevin b27/04/2019 14:14:08
1894 forum posts
150 photos

This is an interesting little thread !

here are some questions.

How many of you buy season tickets for anything ?

How about TV licences ?

Digital TV, or mobile phone packages ?

Pay for parking when going shopping ?

It is a fact of life that services have a cost, one way or another.

Less than 32p per week is not a lot to pay for regulation in a hobby that sadly needs it.

The BMFA, as we all know are totally unable to regulate the hobby, and as a consequence of lack of regulation, we now have this "drone" problem".

Maybe regulation might resolve some of the other problems that we suffer from, such as people (fully insured) taking it on themselves to fly anywhere they feel like, to the determent of sensible flyers. Don't say there aren't any. We all know different !

My personal opinion is that all modellers using radio control should have to register. That also means cars, boats etc. They all have potential to cause damage, or injury. The only exception could be infra red controlled "toys".

It wouldn't stop people operating illegally (as with guns), but it could help give the modelling community a stronger "voice".

That was my Anti-rant.

Thank you for reading.

Edited By kevin b on 27/04/2019 14:15:25

Martin Dilly 127/04/2019 14:15:53
75 forum posts
17 photos

The estimate of 170,000 UK “drone operators” came from looking at the estimated numbers in the United States and Ireland compared to those countries’ populations and then extrapolating the figure on the basis of the UK’s population.

A few points to consider when sending in objections, though it’s vital to paraphrase and use your own words.

What are seen to be the benefits to safety of registration of those flying ‘orthodox’ model aircraft, or even multi-rotor drones, weighing less than 7kg? 36,000 are already members of the sport’s national body, the BMFA, which has almost a century’s experience in maintaining safety standards, and more are members of other organisations. The BMFA membership list could be used in lieu of paid registration, and this has been offered.

The perceived problem is caused by radio-controlled multi-rotor aircraft, not by ‘orthodox’ model aircraft, whether free-flight or radio-controlled.

Part 2 follows.

Martin Dilly 127/04/2019 14:16:18
75 forum posts
17 photos

Now, read on

STEM. We need to encourage young people to get involved in activities like model flying that develop an interest in science, technology, engineering and maths, rather than deterring them. If someone of 10 or 12 has the skill and initiative to build a model aircraft (as many of us did umpteen years ago) and it weighs over 250gm, then we need fewer reasons to deter him from flying it, rather than more.

Charging for registration will mean a 40% increase in costs for a responsible BMFA member, to no good end. The irresponsible drone user will not have joined the sport’s national body and nor will he pay a registration fee.

BMFA has almost a century of expertise; it’s in their interest to ensure safe flying, hence the Achievement Scheme for RC flyers, designed by the people who are actually active in the sport, rather than by a civil servant at a desk.

Registration won’t prevent dangerous flying. ANOs already exist to legislate for this and are ignored by dangerous flyers.

Regarding the “user pays” principle, exactly what commodity or service is it that the user here is being charged for? Air?? Why is the same principle not applied to those riding bicycles on the road or pushing prams on the pavement?

In France registration is both free and valid for five years. If the DfT or CAA have already placed a contract with an i.t. company to run a registration scheme before evidence showing any benefit, then why should the country’s model flyers be expected now to pay for their mistake?

It has been suggested that the reports of drone incursions at Gatwick were instigated by BALPA in order to obtain the drone-free zone on landing and take-off paths of active runways. The alleged drone sightings seemed to have come from people very familiar with the Gatwick internal communications system.

alan p27/04/2019 14:20:11
285 forum posts
7 photos

Perhaps the weight of people replying to the consultation will achieve something.

Peter and Percy the Forlorn Hope were a company of soldiers sent into a breach to seal or open it in battle, they inevitably all died. Feels like we are being sacrificed to fill the drone gap due the ineptitude on the part of government/civil service.

All forum members need to answer the consultation

PeterF27/04/2019 14:22:01
569 forum posts
740 photos

The operator registration and pilot testing are going to happen regardless of the cost and the vast majority of us are both operator and pilot. I am the secretary of my club and the thought has just struck me, what tack should a club take vis a vis the registration and test status of its members. Do we need to take the active role of ensuring that our members have current registration and test passes to their names, I do not know that answer at the moment, I have just started sound checking, I really do not want to be policing more stuff. What is BMFA's stance going to be on this and will their insurance cover you if you are operating illegally by not being registered and having passed the test.

alan p27/04/2019 14:30:10
285 forum posts
7 photos


Our committee is already considering the help some of our elderly members may need for registration/test ie computer literacy. We do suspect that insurance validity will require registration and test. Though most CAA exams are open book type.

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